Mathematics is a discipline and art that is elegant and challenging, requiring ingenuity as well as logic to solve real-world problems.

Modeling Diatom Growth in Trout Lake - Part 2

Summer 2009

Students: Stephanie Schauer and Corey VorlandSummer Research 2009
Adviser: Terry Jo Leiterman

Aulacoseira's growth is determined by a complex, interconnected relationship between mixing and light availability in the lake. Mixing, generated by turbulent convection, alters the location of Aulacoseira within the depth of thelake, consequently altering its ability to obtain light for growth. Aulacoseira's abundance and colony size have been measured at varying depths in Trout Lake in Northern Wisconsin.

In previous work, we built a mathematical model which accounted for growth and sinking of the diatom. However, sinking was only qualitatively included. In this work, the model more rigorously incorporates sedimentation. The diatom's sinking velocity, which is not well understood in the biological community, is formulated by exploiting the low Reynold's number nature of the system in addition to diatom's cylindrical shape and its influence on drag.  

Stephanie Schauer graduated from St. Norbert in Spring 2009 as a mathematics major with secondary education emphasis. She was an active member of the Sigma Nu Delta Math Club and gave nine presentations on four research topics while a student at the College. Stephanie is currently teaching at Big Foot Union High School in Walworth, Wis.

Corey Vorland graduated from St. Norbert in Spring 2009 as a mathematics and computer science double major.  He is currently studying mathematics in the Ph.D. program at South Dakota State University.